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How Tea Can Boost Your Health

How Tea Can Boost Your Health

Sip your way to a healthier lifestyle with delicious tea! Learn the differences between the kinds of tea and how they can benefit you, as well as how to brew them correctly and save money buying them!

If you're looking to replace the endless cups of coffee and cans of soda, try tea. While tea still gives you a caffeine boost, it also offers a bevy of benefits for your body.

"People have been enjoying tea for centuries, not just for its taste, but for its health benefits," says Gwen Marzano, Regional Educator at Garden of Life, a company that makes health teas and supplements.

Have an upset stomach? Try ginger tea. If you can't get to sleep at night, chamomile can help you relax before bed. Gwen explains how to find the right tea for you and sip your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Not sure where to start? Gwen provided a quick primer on the four basic kinds of tea. Although they each come from the same tea plant, camellia sinesis, how they get processed, brewed and enjoyed can be very different.

Black Tea

Black tea is completely oxidized, which means after the tea leaves are picked, they are bruised to break down the cell wall, making it fully oxidized. This gives it a strong, robust flavor. The caffeine in black tea helps boost metabolism and burn fat. Black tea comes in different kinds and flavors, such as Earl Grey. To make black tea, brew with boiling water and let it steep for one to three minutes.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is semi-oxidized, making it a bit lighter in flavor than black tea. Sometimes it's called "blue tea" because the leaves can have a slightly blue tinge. Oolong is great for fighting cancer because it's high in antioxidants. To make oolong tea, brew with hot or boiling water and let it steep for one to three minutes.

Green Tea

Green tea is not oxidized, which gives it a light, grassy taste. It's very high in antioxidants and helps the body create serotonin, which reduces anxiety and stress. To make green tea, brew with steaming water (not boiling) for two to three minutes.

White Tea

Like green tea, white tea is also not oxidized, but the leaves are picked at an early age, giving it a delicate, delicious flavor. White tea is the most potent in antioxidants and is great at fighting free radicals. To make white tea, brew with steaming water for one to two minutes.

Research about the benefits of adding milk to tea has led to conflicting results, but honey is a healthier sweetener than the artificial options.

Fermented Tea - Kombucha

Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that provides a variety of healthy benefits, including an increase of enzymes, B vitamins and antioxidants and probiotics. Gwen's favorite brand is Kickin' Kombucha, which also contains ginger and cayenne for an extra kick.

Yerba Mate

Gwen says yerba mate is another tea with great health benefits. With more than a dozen amino acids, more than 20 vitamins and minerals and an abundance of antioxidants, yerba mate is a great choice for a healthier lifestyle. To brew it, pour leaves in hot water, letting it sit for five minutes. Traditionally, it's served in a little pot called a gore with a special straw called a bombilla that has a filter to prevent the leaves from coming through.

Not sure what you'll like? Gwen recommends first visiting your favorite store's bulk section to buy a bit of different kinds of teas so you can taste test it at home. Once you find the variety you prefer, then decide whether buying it in bulk or in boxes suits you best.

For more from Gwen, visit GardenofLife.com.

Special thanks to WholeFoodsMarket.com.
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